Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


'Spending money on Donald Trump is like buying coffin nails by the crate'

Oregon Republicans divided on support of party nominee -


COURTESY PHOTO - GOP nominee Donald J. Trump is not thrilling every Republican officer holder in Oregon. Some say they don't support him.Earlier this week, Bill Bryant, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Washington, announced that he is not supporting Donald Trump.

This came on the heels of similar announcements by prominent Republicans across the country, which got us wondering how prominent Republicans in Oregon are feeling about their party’s presidential nominee. So, we rallied our newsrooms and sent out nearly 100 emails to Republicans holding elective office, seeking office or otherwise currently or formerly involved with party politics.

What we found was a wide range of opinions. Kevin Mannix, a former Republican gubernatorial candidate, is bullish on Trump. In contrast, Kerry Tymchuck, a former aide to U.S. Senator Gordon Smith, is so upset with the GOP nominee that he quit the party and will vote for Hillary Clinton.

Below are the questions we asked followed by the responses we got, in alphabetical order. We’re still waiting to hear back from several people we queried and will update the responses as we get them.

OUR QUESTIONS:

Who are you supporting for president?

If not Donald Trump, why not?

If you are supporting Trump, to what extent? Specifically:

If invited to attend his upcoming events in the Northwest, would you appear with him?

If he offered his endorsement, would you accept and promote it in campaign materials?

Given the current polling, do you think the Republican National Committee should devote its typical share of campaign funds on the presidential race or put more money into Congressional candidates?

Anything else you’d like to add?

THE RESPONSES:

Shane Bemis

FILE PHOTO - Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis.Mayor of Gresham

Supporting: Won’t say (but not Trump)

Why not Trump? I grew up in the era of Ronald Reagan, who united the Country and won a staggering 49 states in 1984. I admired his leadership and ability to communicate and inspire people with an optimistic, patriotic message. I cannot imagine a more staggering contrast to Reagan’s approach than that embodied by Donald Trump. He is attempting to win the election by dividing people with hateful rhetoric and scaring people into submission through a distorted, extremely negative worldview. I would harshly punish my children if they remarked on women, immigrants, and people of non-Christian faith like Trump does. How could I support a candidate who demonstrates such a blatant disregard for traditional American liberties and values?

Endorsement offer? I would immediately take a bath, and then I’d patently reject his endorsement.

RNC advice? Spending money on Donald Trump is like buying coffin nails by the crate. I think the RNC should invest in a message that reflects our constitutional values, inspires promise and optimism, and offers an intellectual alternative to the Democrats’ pattern of deficit-spending and new guaranteed entitlements. In this election, that would mean making investments much further down the ballot.

Brian Boquist

State Senator District 12

Supporting: Trump

Comment: Trump is the nominee thus voting for him. FYI, I can find a Democrat that has said most everything he has said to date…. While I think President Bill Clinton was one of the top Commanders in Chief I served under, his wife is as close to being guilty of treason as anyone I’ve ever known. You can put her in the same boat with Petraeus.

Daniel Zene Crowe

Candidate for state Attorney General

Supporting: Donald Trump.

Comment (about his personal vote): We have a couple of months before I make my final decision. Of course I am concerned about some things Mr. Trump is reported to have said — no leader should get a free pass. I will be watching both candidates closely to assess whether Mr. Trump can discipline himself and whether Mrs. Clinton suddenly becomes honest. Mr. Trump's focus on protecting the liberty and job of every American regardless of race, creed, or political affiliation is refreshing.

RNC advice? Instead of focusing on a small number of malcontents intent on advancing their own races, I would instead focus on the thousands of loyal Republicans who are supporting our nominee and opposing Mrs. Clinton's demonstrated track record of cronyism, corruption, warmongering, and lying. I believe that's why thousands of Bernie supporters are going to be voting for Mr. Trump in this election. Oregonians are as sick of corruption as I am.

Editor's note: In our original post we stated that Crowe was "undecided" about who he is supporting. He subsequently clarified that he is supporting Trump but is not sure whether he will vote for him: "My vote is an

intensely personal choice which I never finalize until I complete my ballot."

Lori Chavez-DeRemer

Mayor of Happy Valley and candidate of House District 51

Supporting: Not saying

Comment: Donald Trump has not earned Mayor Lori Chavez-DeRemer's endorsement.

Patrick De Klotz

Candidate for state House District 38

Supporting: Undecided (but not Trump)

Why not Trump? My reasons broadly fall into categories relating to character, his exploitation of religious and ethnic prejudices (and most especially those against Muslims and Mexicans), authoritarian tendencies, temperament, other dangerous statements and policy concerns.

Event? I would not attend one of his events to appear with him, though I am certainly willing to share my concerns about the nature of his campaign with him directly (or publicly, as I have already done and continue to do).

RNC advice? I think how the RNC spends the money it has received is a decision best made by the RNC.

Comment: I would like to register my dissent from the choices arrived at by the major parties and vote for someone whose actions I have admired this election cycle. I had been intending to write in either Mitt Romney or Sen. Ben Sasse. I am now taking a look at Evan McMullin. With regard to Mr. McMullin, I find the idea of someone who clearly does not want the power of the presidency, but runs out of a sense of duty, to be very appealing. If in October Oregon appears to be a swing state in the presidential election, I would reevaluate my position; but in any event, I will not be voting for Donald Trump.

Katie Eyre

Former state representative (District 29) and current member of the Hillsboro planning Commissioner

Supporting: Donald Trump

RNC advice? I trust that the RNC will make spending decisions this cycle that are in the best interests of the Republican party and the American people.

Vic Gilliam

Oregon state representative, House District 18, from Silverton

Supporting: Donald Trump

Comment: I don’t think our founding pioneers thought ’sitting-out’ an election, especially for President, was an option. We all must vote.

Jeff Gund

Candidate for Oregon State Treasurer

Supporting: Undecided

Why not Trump (yet)? I was a strong supporter of Governor Kasich in the primary, but have yet to make a decision in the general. I have heard great things about Gary Johnson, but I haven’t been able to devote any time to it as I’ve been entirely focused on the Treasurer’s race.

Endorsement offer? If it is offered, I will consider it.

Mark Johnson

State Representative, District 52

Supporting: Not saying

Comment: I think that if we’re being honest most of us wish there was a 'none of the above' box on our presidential ballot. Rather than dwelling on the mess that our national political scene has become I’m staying focused on what I can do to serve my district and be a positive influence in our state. I have not endorsed any of the candidates for president (as I never have in the past) and don’t have any future plans to do so.

Bill Kennemer

State Representative, District 39

Supporting: Not saying

Dan Lavey

Staffer for former U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith, now runs a Portland consulting firm

Supporting: Libertarian Gary Johnson

Why not Trump: I'm not supporting Trump because he is both a lousy candidate and completely unsuited to be president and Commander in Chief. He's a narcissist and has zero principles or vision for the country - other than 'elect me.' He's a political clown.

Comment: Hillary is awful and a phony. She has no principles other than 'elect me' and grow the government even bigger than it already is. I'm voting Johnson/Weld. Two successful former GOP governors from blue states. Both are qualified, inclusive, tolerant and believe in limited government.

Kevin Mannix

Former state lawmaker, former state GOP chairman, Republican candidate for governor (2002)

Supporting: Donald Trump

Comment: I am supporting Donald Trump for president because he will appoint justices to the Supreme Court, and the other federal benches, who will not engage in progressive judicial activism; he respects both the First and Second Amendments and will not undermine them; and he is Pro-Life. As to all of these substantive factors, he is the opposite of Hillary Clinton.

Patti Milne

Former state lawmaker and Marion County Commissioner, running for House District 22

Supporting: Undecided (but not Clinton)

Why not Trump (yet)? Like many voters, I am still undecided about voting for Trump. I believe the Republican Party can and must be a party of positive solutions to move our country forward and I would like to see Donald Trump move away from divisive, partisan rhetoric in the presidential race. The president, as commander-in-chief, is personally responsible for the lives of our military personnel and the security of our nation. At this time I am uncomfortable with both candidates’ ability to do that.

Comment: Although I am undecided about voting for Donald Trump, I can assure you, I will not be voting for Hillary Clinton. Her track record of dishonesty and corruption, I believe, has made her unfit to serve as our next president. As a grandmother of a young man serving in our military, Clinton’s past actions as Secretary of State, notably how she handled Benghazi and the families of those killed in Benghazi, have made her unfit to lead the United States military.

Ron Nobl

Candidate for House District 24

Supporting: Undecided (but not Clinton)

Why not Trump (yet)? This presidential election is unlike anything we have seen before and it is likely much will change before November. Like many voters, I have not made a final decision. It is important to me that Donald Trump improve his temperament and show a willingness to rid his campaign of divisive rhetoric before I cast my vote in November.

Comment: Donald Trump was not my first choice in the primary but I believe party unity is important, as our next president is going to be responsible for at least one nomination to the Supreme Court. Hillary Clinton will only continue the troubled policies that have led our country to the new national normal of 2 percent growth. I also believe her past actions regarding Benghazi, her personal email server and three decades in the public eye have made her unfit to serve as our next president.

Alan Olsen

State Senator, District 20

Supporting: Trump

Comment: I whole heartedly support Donal Trump. I will endorse him. I will show up at any event he’s got going that I am invited to.

RNC advice? The RNC should put their money in the presidential race. It’s critical. It’s key. We cannot have Hillary Clinton as president. She will destroy America.

Bud Pierce

Candidate for Governor

Supporting: Trump

Trump event? I am focused on my own campaign and sharing my vision of unity, inclusiveness, and respect based around the dignity of work, and would not appear at any events.

Endorsement? I would like the voters of Oregon to judge me as a candidate based on my own merits and policy ideas on how to better improve the lives of our citizens.

Comment: I am concerned about the lack of unity and inclusiveness from our nominee, but would cast a ballot in his favor due to the fact that I am unable to support Hillary Clinton's candidacy. I am a Republican, and our nominee was chosen democratically through the primary process, in contrast to Hillary Clinton whom was only able to clinch the nomination from insider super delegates like Kate Brown and action by corrupt officials in the DNC. As Governor of the State of Oregon, my administration will strive to set a standard of inclusion, respect, and unity. I am deeply concerned by the behavior of the Republican nominee, and while I am supporting him because I cannot trust Hillary Clinton, it is becoming harder and harder everyday to maintain that support.

Bill Post

State Representative, House District 25

Supporting: Trump

Endorsement offer? I don’t expect an endorsement as again, he is running for President of the United States….but if he personally endorsed me, then I’d take that.

RNC advice? I don’t really care what the RNC does with its funds unless of course it would like to dump the millions of dollars at its disposal into Oregon House races?

Dennis Richardson

Former state representative, 2014 candidate for governor, currently running for Oregon Secretary of State

Supporting: Not saying

Comment: The Secretary of State’s office requires impartiality and as I hope to be head of the Elections Division, I have refrained this cycle from endorsing any candidates.

Jack Roberts

Former state labor commissioner

Supporting: Undecided (but not Trump)

Why not Trump: I don't believe Trump has the knowledge, temperament or experience to be President. I also strongly disagree with his views on trade, immigration and foreign policy. I will probably write-in someone or perhaps vote Libertarian.

RNC advice: I think it is too early to make that decision. Even though I personally don't support Trump, I don't know whether failing to spend money on that race will hurt turnout for Republican congressional candidates more than increased spending for those candidates directly will help.

Gordon Smith

Former U.S. Senator, now CEO of National Association of Broadcasters

Supporting: Not saying

Kerry Tymchuk

Former speechwriter for Senator Bob Dole and U.S. Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole, state director for U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith

Supporting: Clinton

Comment: I supported Gov. Kasich in the presidential primaries. After it became apparent that Trump would be nominee, re-registered as “unaffiliated” and will be voting for Secretary Clinton. Working for Elizabeth Dole and Bob Dole for eight years and Gordon Smith for 12 years provided me with a bird’s eye view of government at its highest level and the personal attributes of effective leaders. It has long been clear to me that Donald Trump lacks any of those attributes. I decided that as long as Trump is the nominee of the Republican Party, then I cannot in good conscience be a member of that party.

Sonny Yellot

Member of the Mt. Hood Community College Board and candidate for House District 48

Supporting: Trump

Endorsement offer? Certainly

RNC advice? Just carry on. It seems to be working

Comment: Donald Trump's the rest!